Ralph Fiennes has said he thinks filming on the next James Bond film could begin as early as May.

The actor, who has played M in the Bond franchise since 2012, appeared on Lorraine on ITV on Wednesday to promote his new film, The White Crow, and said that although he has not received a script or a start date, he expected filming to begin on the new Bond in early summer.

He said: "Well, I know we are shooting this year. I'm genuinely not being coy. I have not yet got a script and I don't have a start date.

"I know that Daniel (Craig) is playing Bond and I'm looking forward to starting, I think, sometime in May or June."

The latest instalment in the spy series has been provisionally named Shatterhand.

When asked about the time he himself was approached to play 007, Fiennes said: "Years ago I talked to (Bond executive) Barbara Broccoli, and indeed her father Cubby briefly.

"But it didn't work out and I think actually Pierce Brosnan, who was a fantastic Bond, played it, which was great.

"And I feel, on reflection, that I am happy playing M. I think Daniel is a brilliant, brilliant Bond."

Fiennes was recently in Dublin where he was honoured at the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival with the festival's Volta award for contribution to film.

At the Irish premiere of his new film The White Crow, which he directed and stars in, he said Irish audiences are "very discerning".

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